Thursday, January 2, 2014

Who? What? When? Where? Why??

Wow! Look at all the compelling questions this comic cover is asking:

The Avengers sure look like they have a lot going on. Can this one story answer all of these questions? Well, the cover boldly says, "This One's Got All The Answers," so we can no doubt rest assured we're going to have all the answers. After all, when has a comics cover ever misrepresented the story inside?

Alright, put those hands down. I get the message.

We'd better take a peek at these questions, one by one, and cut right to the chase to see if this cover is on the level. First up:

(1) "WHO is the surprise super-villain Hawkeye battles alone?"

When the Falcon fills a spot in the Avengers lineup, Hawkeye discovers that the new government-mandated quota limit means that, with the inclusion of the Falcon, there's no longer room for the archer on the roster, and he departs somewhat bitterly. Not long afterward, he takes a position as Security Chief at Cross Technological Enterprises, where recent thefts have been taking place in their storage areas. Fresh on the job, it isn't long before Hawkeye sees action, when the "super-villain" shows her face--and her wings:

Hawkeye gives a great accounting of himself against a deadly, battle-bred foe. And after he's wrapped her up to be taken away, he even leaves her his calling card:

Question answered satisfactorily: AFFIRMATIVE

(2) "WHAT strange new problems plague the Scarlet Witch and the Vision?"

Good question. The Vision probably wishes he knew the answer himself. Wanda's keeping mum on the subject:

That's it. That's all we really get in this issue.
Question answered satisfactorily: NEGATIVE

In fact, we don't find out what's going on with Wanda until eight issues (i.e., eight months) later:

(3) "WHEN will the government stop harassing our heroes?"

Perhaps soon, since the Avengers have had it up to here with Henry Gyrich breathing down their necks:

But for now, we just don't know. And heralding the end of the team on the story's last page certainly doesn't shed any light on the situation.

Question answered satisfactorily: NEGATIVE

For what it's worth, the team's battle with the Grey Gargoyle in the following two issues helps them to regain a level of autonomy in their operations, so there's that.

(4) "WHERE does destiny take Captain America and the Falcon?"

Well, apparently destiny is taking them no further than the Avengers' communications center, to take care of a completely routine matter.

Question answered satisfactorily: YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING

(5) "WHY must Thor leave the Avengers?"

Thor is taking off because things are heating up with his conflict with the Celestials. (Catch the "Eternal mission" play on words?) And Thor is keeping the Avengers out of it presumably because the situation seems to have Odin's fingerprints all over it, and he feels it's his duty to sort it out by himself:

Question answered satisfactorily: AFFIRMATIVE

So, overall, in exchange for our 40¢, this issue managed to answer two of these five questions, while leaving us hanging with the other three (or, in the case of the Cap/Falcon question, annoyed). Which means that if we do the math, we should probably have only been charged 16¢ for this story. But since the Hawkeye-Deathbird fight took up a good deal of space and was pretty well done, what do you say we cut them some slack, eh?

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